Travel Industry News at since 1997. Interviews, podcasts, videos, pictures and more


Scandinavian Airlines shows Benefits of 'Green Flights'

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Friday, 4 July 2008

Scandinavian Airlines has a system-wide goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% per seat kilometre by 2020 and also claims that it intends to have the most ambitious long-term environmental program in the airline industry. Green flights, especially the landing part, are essential to that objective.

Green flights, or green landings, are smooth continuous descents to airports at relatively low engine revs. SAS, which has carried out over 2,000 such green landings, says that for a mid-size aircraft such as a Boeing 737, fuel savings are over 100 kg of fuel per flight which equates to 315 kg less carbon emitted per flight. The savings are bigger on larger aircraft.

Green landings depend on flight controllers and pilots fully adhering to schedules. If planes have to circle airports waiting for permission to land, savings are squandered. "For green flights to work properly, flight routes have to be more direct and airspace approaches efficiently structured," said Mr Hakan Olsson, SAS's Bangkok-based Director and General Manager for Southeast Asia.

SAS, the 15th largest airline in the world based on passenger numbers, admits that reducing carbon emissions and costs is a complex process. No airline can effectively do it alone. In November last year SAS issued a policy document called "Ten Points for Climate-Friendly Aviation". The document, is now the basis of SAS's environmental policy. It asks airlines, governments, airports, passengers and supporting modes of transport to implement change.

The ten-point plan calls for financial incentives, the international harmonization of rules, a more efficient use of airspace, better public transport to and from airports, further investment into technology and alternative fuels, and reliable independent certification of organizations which aim to help travellers who only want to make carbon-neutral trips.

"Scandinavian Airlines is taking a lead role the best we can," said Mr Olsson. "We want to share our knowledge with other airlines all round the world. But many organizations have to collaborate for green flight savings to work properly."

The airline's board believes that if it can introduce the green approach concept around the world the fuel and environmental savings could be enormous.

Every minute of flying time knocked off a journey saves 62 litres of fuel. This is equivalent to 160 kilograms of C02 emissions.

SAS estimates that on large-bodied longhaul aircraft, savings of up to 450 kgs of emissions per flight are possible. In December, Scandinavian Airlines carried out the first trans-Atlantic green approach with an Airbus A330 between New York (Newark) and Stockholm. SAS has since continued to test green approaches on trans-Atlantic flights from Chicago and New York to Stockholm, arriving on off-peak slots at weekends.

Assuming an optimized air traffic management system, SAS would conduct smooth continuous descent approaches on all its long-haul flights. This would save an estimated 492 kg of fuel and 1,550 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) would be saved per flight. (The burning of 1 kg of fuel creates 3.15kg of CO2.)

In addition, SAS offers passengers an offset programme to virtually neutralize the affects of air travel. Passengers can estimate their CO2 footprint with SAS carbon calculator.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News AsiaPromotions, New Hotels, SAS, Green, Climate Change

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.



Copyright © 1997-2024